3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment

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3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment
(3e Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine)
Insigne régimentaire du 3e RPIMA.JPG
Regimental insigne
Active 3e BCCP 1948
3e GCCP 1950
3e BCCP 1951
3e BCCP 1951
3e BPC 1952
3e BCCP 1955
3e RPC 1955
3e RPIMa 1958 - present
Country France
Branch French Army
Type Troupes de marine
Role Airborne
Size 1120 men and women
Part of 11th Parachute Brigade
Garrison/HQ Carcassonne, France
Motto(s) Être et durer (To Be and endure)
Colors Red and blue
Anniversaries Saint-Michel Day
Engagements

First Indochina War
*Battle of Route Coloniale 4
*Operation Lorraine
*Battle of Na San
Algerian War

Lebanese Civil War

Gulf War
War on Terror (2001-Present)

Commanders
Current
commander
Philippe Pottier
Notable
commanders
Marcel Bigeard
Roger Trinquier
Guy Le Borgne
Insignia
Insignia of the 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment Parachutistes coloniaux-béret.jpg
Abbreviation 3e RPIMa

The 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (French: 3e Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine, 3e RPIMa) is an airborne elite regiment of the French Army heir to the 3rd Colonial Commando Parachute Battalion 3e BCCP created in 1948 and the 3rd Colonial Parachute Regiment 3e RPC. The regiment is part of the 11th Parachute Brigade.[1]

The battalion filled the ranks with the thousands throughout the various campaign battle courses of dissolutions and reformations. The battalions of this regiment are heir to the 1st Colonial Parachute Commando Demi-Brigade, another heir of the paratroopers of Free France, the Demi-Brigade of the SAS, of the Parachute Choc Groupment Battalions, whose regimental colors was decorated with the Légion d'honneur on July 1954.

Creation and different nominations[edit]

History since 1948[edit]

Campaigns[edit]

Campaign Participation Engagement
3rd Colonial Parachute Commando Battalion (1948 - 1950)

Campaign Participation Engagement
3rd Colonial Parachute Regiment (1955 - 1958)

  • 1956 - 1961 : Algeria

Campaign Participation Engagement
3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (1958 - present)

  • 1990 : Rwanda
  • 1991 : Togo
  • 1991 : Zaire
  • 1992 : Chad
  • 1993 : Zaire
  • 1993 : Rwanda
  • 1994 : Rwanda
  • 1995 - 1996 : Yugoslavia, UNPROFOR
  • 1995 : Chad
  • 1995 : Bosnia
  • 1996 : Bosnia
  • 1996 : Chad
  • 1997 : Congo
  • 1998 : Congo
  • 1999 : Congo
  • 1999 : Kosovo
  • 2000 : Congo
  • 2000 : Kosovo
  • 2001 : Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFOR
  • 2003 : Afghanistan, ISAF
  • 2006 : Ivory Coast
  • 2007 : Central African Republic
  • 2008 : Afghansitan, ISAF
  • 2013 : Mali

Created in January 1948, the 3rd Colonial Parachute Commando Battalion 3e BCCP joined Indochina on November of the same year. Cited twice at the orders of the armed forces, the battalion was dissolved after having sacrificed itself in October 1950. During this episode, the 3e BCCP of captain Cazaux and the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er BEP of Commandant Pierre Segretain, disappeared.

Recreated on December 27 1951, the battalion was designated as the 3rd Colonial Parachute Battalion 3e BPC, illustrating savoire faire while gaining another citation at the orders of the armed forces.

The battalion was then dissolved again, providing the reformation of another battalion.

Recreated again, the battalion was designated as the 3rd Colonial Parachute Regiment 3e RPC on November 1955 under the orders and disposition of Lieutenant-colonel Bigeard.

3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment, 3e RPIMa (1958 - present)[edit]

Designated as the 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment in December 1958, the regiment joined the metropole and stationed on July 1962. The regiment formed a part of the 11th Light Intervention Division 11e DLI.

In 1968, the regiment intervened in Chad during the during the first civil war conflict.

The regiment partook in various peacekeeping missions in Lebanon on numerous yearly designated occasions within the UNIFIL first then integrated the corps of the Multinational Force in Lebanon. During one of these various peacekeeping interventions, the regimental commander colonel Jean Salvan was severely wouned.

The regiment then intervened in Djibouti, again in Chad, Central African Republic, New Caledonia, Togo, Gabon, the Gulf War, Turkey, Zaire, Ex-Yugoslavia, Congo, and Kosovo where the regiment acquired the fifth respective citation.

The regiment has been deployed in combat, combat support, peacekeeping and multipurposed facade mission operations throughout the world with the ongoing War on Terror, mainly on all exterior theatres of operations where the French Armed Forces are engaged in along the five continents.

Composition[edit]

The regiment is composed of 1120 personnel organized into 8 companies:[1]

  • Compagnie de commandement et de logistique (CCL)[1] - Command and logistics company
  • Compagnie d'administration et de soutien (CAS)[1] - Administration and support company
  • Compagnie d'éclairage et d'appui (CEA)[1] - Reconnaissance and support company
  • 1re Compagnie de combat[1] - 1st Combat company
  • 2e Compagnie de combat[1] - 2nd Combat company
  • 3e Compagnie de combat[1] - 3rd Combat company
  • 4e Compagnie de combat[1] - 4th Combat company
  • Compagnie de réserve (CR)[1] - Reserve company

Traditions[edit]

The Archangel Michael featured in Mont Saint-Michel and the insignia of the 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment

Except for the Legionnaires of the 1ème REG, 2ème REG, 2ème REP that conserve the Green Beret, the remainder of the French army metropolitan and marine paratroopers forming the 11th Parachute Brigade wear the Red Beret.

The Archangel Saint Michael, patron of the French paratroopers is celebrated on September 29.

The prière du Para (Prayer of the Paratrooper) was written by André Zirnheld in 1938.

Insignia[edit]

Just like the paratrooper Brevet of the French Army, the insignia of French Paratroopers was created in 1946. The French Army insignia of metropolitan Paratroopers represents a closed "winged armed dextrochere", meaning a "right winged arm" armed with a sword pointing upwards. The insignia makes reference to the Patron of Paratroopers. In fact, the insignia represents "the right Arm of Saint Michael", the Archangel which according to Liturgy is the "Armed Arm of God". This insignia is the symbol of righteous combat and fidelity to superior missions. The French Army insignia of Marine Infantry Paratroopers is backgrounded by a Marine Anchor.

Regimental colors[edit]

Regimental Colors of the 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment

Since its creation, the regiment has endured the loss of 476 Officers, Sous-Officiers and paratroopers of the 3e RPIMa.

Regimental song[edit]

Hymne du 3e RPIMa
"Rien ne saurait t'émouvoir"

Rien ne saurait t'émouvoir,
Para, rude parachutiste
C'est ta loi dans les dangers de la piste,
Rien ne saurait t'émouvoir.

Tes Anciens ont souffert sur la piste
Comme des chevaliers et des preux
Toi le vaillant parachutiste,
Toujours prêt à faire aussi bien qu'eux.
Car il faudra para, car il faudra para
En découdre par le poignard et par la poudre

Ton chemin sera toujours la piste
Dans la nuit, la chaleur ou le froid
Où sans cri tombe un parachutiste
Piste sans fin toujours devant toi.
Car il faudra para, car il faudra para
En découdre par le poignard et par la poudre

Si tu dois en finir sur la piste,
Que ce soit en beauté comme ceux
Qui sont morts en vrais parachutistes
comme des chevaliers et des preux.
Car il faudra para, car il faudra para

En découdre par le poignard et par la poudre

"Être et durer"


Si tu crois en ton destin,
Si tu crois aux lendemains,
L'ami faut pas hésiter,
Prends ton sac et viens sauter,
Avec nous tu pourras marcher
Tu pourras être et durer.
Refrain

Pour aimer et pour souffrir
Y a pas de moyens de trouver tout ça
Pour toi sans aucun doute
Viens chez les paras.

Si tu retournes au Pays
Si tu vas revoir ta mie
Pour nous tu lui conteras
Nos chants, nos cris, nos combats,
Mais qu'elle t'attende ou qu'elle t'oublie
Pense à ceux qui sont là-bas.

Si tu vas au bout du risque,
Si tu restes sur la piste
La piste sauvage et belle
La piste garce et cruelle,
Mourant, tu sauras l'aimer

Car elle t'aura tout donné.

Decorations[edit]

The regimental colors of the 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (3e RPIMa) are as follows:

The regiment has received one citation sans croix at the orders of the armed forces for the peace intervention in Lebanon in 1978, which was replaced with a citation bearing attribution of the Croix de la Valeur militaire with palm.

The citation at the orders of the brigade was awarded for action while leading allied forces in Kosovo in 1999.

On May 21 2012, the regimental colors were decorated again with the croix de la valeur militaire with palm for service in Afghanistan within the cadre of ISAF.

The regiment bears wearing Fourragère:

Honours[edit]

Battle honours[edit]

Regimental Commanders[edit]

3rd Colonial Parachute Commando Battalion, 3e BCCP

  • Chef de bataillon (major) Henri Ayrolles (1948–1949)
  • Captain Paul Cazaux (1949–1950)
  • Chef de bataillon Decorse (1950)

3rd Colonial Parachute Battalion, 3e BCP

  • Captain Louis Bonnigal (1951–1953)
  • Captain Jacques Bouvery (1953)
  • Chef de bataillon Albert Lenoir (1955)

3rd Colonial Parachute Regiment, 3e RPC

  • Colonel Marcel Bigeard (1955–1958)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Trinquier (April 1958 - December 1958)

3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment, 3e RPIMa

  • Lieutenant Colonel Roger Trinquier (1958–1959)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Louis Bonnigal (1959–1961)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Guy Le Borgne (1961–1962)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Marcel Mollo (1962–1963)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Maurice Escarra (1963–1965)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Robert Courtiade (1965–1967)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Pierre de Haynin de Bry (1967–1970)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jean Garnier (1970–1972)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Chabanne (1972–1974)
  • Colonel Michel Datin (1974–1976)
  • Colonel Jean Salvan (1976–1978)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Hugues Mircher (1978–1980)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Olivier Leblanc (1980–1982)
  • Colonel Daniel Roudeillac (1982–1984)
  • Colonel Michel Billot (1984–1986)
  • Colonel Serge Ménard (1986–1988)
  • Colonel Michel Stouff (1988–1990)
  • Colonel Pierre Ribeyron (1990–1992)
  • Colonel Henri Poncet (1992–1994)
  • Colonel Patrick Marengo (1994–1996)
  • Colonel Philippe Six (1996–1998)
  • Colonel Didier Legrand (1998–2000)
  • Colonel Olivier Tramond (2000–2002)
  • Colonel Jean-François Hogard (2002–2004)
  • Colonel Bruno Guibert (2004–2006)
  • Colonel Frédéric Merveilleux du Vignaux (2006–2008)
  • Colonel Jean-Pierre Perrin (2008–2010)
  • Colonel Philippe Pottier (2010–2012)
  • Colonel Mabin (2012-2014)
  • Colonel Journé (2014-201x)

Notable members of the 3e RPIMa[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "3e RPIMa". French government. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 

Sources and bibliographies[edit]

  • Collectif, Histoire des parachutistes français, Société de Production Littéraire - 1975.
  • Livre ceux du 3e RPIMA Maison d'édition BBK.
  • Livre 3e BCCP Indochine 1948 1950 Maison d'édition Hexagone.
  • Cyril Bondroit, 3e BCCP, Indochine 1948-1950, Éditions Indo Éditions - 1998 - ISBN 978-2-912755-01-8.

External links[edit]